Without a bathroom and clean water

Where did you give birth or where was the birth you witnessed?

Can you describe where your/the birth was?

I witnessed the birth of a baby girl of a young 1st time mother in a government run hospital in Wakiso district not far from the Capitol Kampala. I was a volunteer midwife sharing experience with midwives from Uganda.
The hospital had one delivery room with 2 beds in it. On this occasion only one bed was in use. There was no bathroom or indoor toilet facilities and only one tap with running water. There was little privacy with a double door leading to a busy area. It didn’t feel like a secure comfortable place to bring a baby into the world.

Who was present at your/the birth?
Just a midwife and me and the mother

Can you describe the experience of giving birth or watching the birth?
I was able to offer support to this young mother and the midwife giving care. It was routine for all 1st time mothers to have an episiotomy and the midwife prepared a razor blade ready to perform this. With some support and encouragement I was able to reassure the midwife that the baby could be born without this unnecessary trauma. The young mother had an intact pereneum and was spared the agony of being sutured and also the task of trying to keep a wound clean without a bathroom and clean water. I hope that this experience left the midwife able to question her practice and make changes but, I know it took British midwives several years to change routine practice.


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